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Poll shows most Thais still oppose foreign arrivals

Jack Burton



PHOTO: New Straits Times

A recent survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, shows that a majority of Thais still oppose opening the country to foreigners, even if they’re not infected with Covid-19, saying the global coronavirus situation is still very serious. The poll was conducted on July 6-8 on 1,251 people aged 18 and over, of various education levels and occupations throughout the country.

A “medical and wellness” program would open the country to foreigners who test negative for Covid-19 to receive medical treatment. They would undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine before being allowed to return to their home countries.

A majority or respondents – 55.3% – disagreed with the program. Of those, 41.4% strongly disagreed, saying those admitted could be asymptomatic carriers and cause a second wave of infections, while Thailand already has many infections imported by Thais returning from abroad. Another 13.9% said they disagreed because the situation does not yet warrant allowing foreigners in, even if they have health certificates.

On the other hand, 23.1% agreed with the program, saying it would enhance the reputation of Thai medical facilities and spur the economy; and 21.6% moderately agreed, reasoning that measures taken by Thailand have proven effective against the spread of the virus.

A second proposed program would allow those foreigners admitted for medical treatment to travel around Thailand after undergoing a 14 day quarantine. 37.9% respondents strongly opposed this and and wanted Covid-19 to be 100% eradicated first because they have no confidence in the 14 day quarantine, while 14.5% disagreed with it, although less strongly, for fear of a second wave, since Covid-19 was originally imported by foreigners.

Conversely, 24.1% strongly supported the program, saying it would help rehabilitate tourism and stimulate the economy, while another 23.3% said they somewhat agreed with it for showing confidence in Thai medical services. The rest had no comment or were not interested.

Asked about the travel bubble program that would allow foreigners from virus-free countries to visit, a majority – 54.4% – agreed with it. Of them, 25.9% strongly agreed, saying it would help spur the economy and revitalise the airline industry.

On the other side, 29.6% strongly opposed the program.

When asked whether they were confident the government could contain the spread of the virus if foreigners are allowed into the country under these programmes, 59.6% were not confident, while 39.3% were.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Who the hell want to come to this stupid shit racist country anymore!!!

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 11:17 am


  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Out of 1251 Thais asked!
    That is not a poll.
    Ask the 1.000.000 Thais who are out of work or going bankrupt through having tourists barred from entering the country.

    • Avatar

      Udo haarkötter

      Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Richtig ich denke diese wurden nicht befragt,können Ja warten bis die Welt zu 100Prozent sicher ist,bestimmt dann
      50prozent pleite,derweil hilft der Rest den anderen mit viel Geld und waren

  3. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Shut out foreign tourists from hot zones.

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Can anyone give any explanation for these pointless and worthless polls?

    • Avatar


      Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Kann wohl kein Mensch und fragt sich noch wer befragt würde,sollten mal in die Urlauber Znen gehen die das Geld in thailand machen denke da entscheiden die Menschen anders und was ist mit dem schnelltest der für 3000 Bath angeboten wird bei der Ankunft,alles etwas zwiespältig

  5. Avatar

    charles M

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Poll is useless 80% or more of the locals on Phuket rely on tourism for income
    you cant tell me they all agree to go bankrupt or have no income

  6. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Ridiculous, asking only 1251 people and publishing the results as the opinion of the Thais, the sample is by far to low, and there is no breakdown in age and and social level (rich or poor, employed or unemployed etc)… the results are useless and misleading !!!!

  7. Avatar

    Tobias Krantz

    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I have lived in many different countries and I have never seen anything as I see here in Thailand. Someone heard about polls and have no idea what constitutes a poll. I have a friend who always says dealing with a person not knowing is not an issue or challenge, it is dealing with the people who think they know everything and have no idea they do not know what they do not know. This is reflective of the leaders in Thailand. They have no idea what they do not know. It is comical.

  8. Avatar

    Bubba Lee

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    It has been pointed out numerous times that were the poll is taken and the way questions are presented to the people being polled can greatly influence the outcome of the poll. For example, if I asked someone in Pattaya, the question, “With the extremely high unemployment in the tourist business areas and people standing in charity food lines just to have food to eat do you think foreigners free ofCOVID-19 Should be allowed to enter the country?” the answer in many cases would be “yes let them enter and revive the tourist jobs!”. However, if I were to go to an IVY league University and question a lot of rich kids whose parents provide them with tuition, car apartment and spending money and I ask them in a different way, “With a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 with deaths increasing every day in many countries around the world do you think Thailand should allow COVID free Foreigners to enter when they could cause a second wave of infection in Thailand?”. The answers would be radically different. We do not know the ulterior motives of this recent poll and why they are even taking such a poll. However, it’s credibility is very suspect.

  9. Avatar

    mr sparky

    Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 11:19 am

    too many disrespecful foreigners! who in the He$&!! want some out of control headstrong high minded fool in their country bragging about how much better they are and how much better the country in which they came from is better then Thailand. I say good riddance!

    • Avatar

      Tom Easton

      Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      People like you cause racism and nationalism… I love the asian cultures and loved my 1st visit to Thailand in 2018, and am really looking forward to my next visit to Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. I come from a working class background and have worked damn hard to be where I am in life and respect those people that respect me in return

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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